In a world where a burger chain talks about depression, shoe brands support Black Lives Matter and ice-cream makers chime in on climate change, it’s easy to see social issues as a marketing must-have.
We’re seeing it play out on the Zavy social score board. More and more of the top posts and brands on the board are bringing corporate social responsibility (CSR) content into their social media channels.
In fact, Zavy social media analysis over the last two years shows average engagement with CSR posts is on the rise. We also found that pages that do CSR posts of any sort get more engagements per follower than pages that do not.
Clearly this shows that this type of content is not only a major driver of engagement directly, but indirectly impacts how people engage with your page as a whole.
But posting on social issues shouldn’t be seen as just another box on your marketing checklist – and not just because it won’t help the cause.
The brands we’re highlighting today show how social media can be a force for good, when involvement is thoughtful, relevant and on brand. It’s about finding causes that fit with your corporate values and voice, not just jumping on the latest bandwagon and firing off a quick post.
You can read more of our research on CSR in our upcoming whitepaper, Changing your social media strategy for good. In the meantime, here are some insights from our research to help you get this right:
Meaning and connection
Our research for the whitepaper shows that CSR doubled as a share of social posts – from 12% to 25% – between 2018-2020. Of course, as with any social media activity, it’s important to go in with a strategic plan. You can’t just boost engagement by ticking CSR boxes and churning out posts – you have to be authentic and earn meaningful connections with your audience.
A one-off Facebook post or Twitter share isn’t going to make much difference, but a wider CSR policy, including social media strategy, can. Keep the focus on the cause you’re supporting and resist the temptation to self-promote or tie in your products at the same time. In the CSR space, this type of post looks particularly self-centred and tone-deaf.
To really add meaning to your campaign, plan for key cultural moments where you can highlight the cause your brand is supporting. A strategy that convincingly and relevantly aligns your brand to a cultural moment can provide up to 7x more engagement per post than those that don’t.
ANZ’s top posts for March 2021 worked well because they brought together a social good message, backed up by real-world activity – supporting people during the pandemic-affected Mardi Gras – while also tapping into a highly engaged community during a key cultural moment – Australia’s rainbow community during Pride month.
Action that fits your brand and the moment
Sharing your take on a social issue can be a powerful way to connect with people – or an embarrassing way to alienate them. And on social media, any missteps will be instantly identified and shared – going viral in the worst way.
Before you throw your support behind a cause, think hard about whether it fits your brand values and voice. If it’s not relevant or connected, or if you make a sudden shift from your usual brand character, it risks looking like a token effort.
Darrell Lea’s “Darrell Lea loves Allsorts” campaign is a great example of this – a relevant, powerful CSR initiative, backed up by action that stimulates engagement beyond a simple “like”.
The graph below shows Darrell Lea’s extremely high engagement levels and positive sentiment on Facebook, compared to the other benchmark brands. This also shows how tying meaningful CSR activity to a relevant cultural moment can amplify impact.
It also rolled across into Instagram – their “Darrell Lea Loves Allsorts” campaign, supporting QLife during Sydney’s Mardi Gras, beat out all other tracked confectionery brands to earn the top post for the entire year on Instagram.
Want to read the full whitepaper?
If you want to read more of our research about CSR and how your brand can live its purpose on social media, register for our upcoming whitepaper, Changing Your Social Media Strategy for Good.
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